Job Posting: Conservator for Special Projects – Newberry Library (Chicago, IL)

TITLE:  Conservator for Special Projects
INSTITUTION: Newberry Library
DEPARTMENT: Conservation Services
Summary: Reporting to the Director of Conservation Services, the Conservator for Special Projects coordinates digitization and exhibition conservation workflows, performs needed treatments on Newberry Library collection materials for digitization and exhibition, and assists the Director with conservation initiatives and other departmental activities.
Exhibitions, Digitization, and Special Projects:

  • Work with Library Exhibits staff and curators to plan, schedule, survey, prepare and install library materials for exhibits.
  • Coordinate and perform treatments on library materials for exhibition display.
  • Work with Digital Initiatives staff to plan, schedule, survey and perform treatments needed prior to digitization.
  • Work with Digital Initiatives staff to advise and/or provide assistance for preservation-friendly digital capture.
  • Works with the Director to plan, schedule, survey and perform treatments on library materials to be used in conjunction with other projects.
  • Monitors statistics for project workflows.


  • Specify, perform, and document treatments on Newberry Library collection materials. These non-circulating collections include a broad range of materials, including books, archival documents, maps, manuscripts on paper and parchment, photographs and other materials.

Assistance to the Director in the overall work of the department:

  • Participate in departmental tours and other forms of outreach.
  • Assist with disaster preparedness and recovery.

Other duties:

  • Participate in library committees.
  • Keep abreast of current developments in conservation, preservation, and related fields.
  • Perform other tasks or activities needed for the achievement of departmental goals.
  • May assist in training of volunteers and interns.
  • May assist in the education of Newberry Library staff in the care and handling of materials.


  • Bachelor’s degree and graduate degree in Conservation of Library and Archival Materials or equivalent combination of training and experience required.
  • Minimum 2 years of experience in a relevant library or museum setting.
  • Knowledge of book history and structure.
  • Excellent hand skills and understanding of conservation theory, practice, and treatments for library materials.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, collaboratively and productively in a dynamic environment.
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to meet strict deadlines.
  • Experience in evaluating and treating materials for digital imaging and/or exhibitions.
  • Experience in exhibition preparation, installation, and environmental monitoring.
  • Demonstrated record of continued education in the field.
  • Demonstrated ability to use spreadsheets, databases and other productivity software effectively.

Schedule: Full time exempt position.  35 hours per week, Monday through Friday, with occasional evening and weekend assignments.
Benefits:  Group life, health, dental, and vision insurance; fifteen days of vacation the first year, twenty days thereafter; two personal days and six paid holidays annually; discount in bookstore and book purchasing service; long term disability, long term care and retirement plan available after one year of service.
Date Posted: February 4, 2016
Available:  April 1, 2016
About the Newberry Library:  The Newberry Library is an independent research library concentrating on the humanities, with an active educational and cultural presence in Chicago and well beyond.  Free and open to the public, it houses an extensive non-circulating collection of rare books, maps, music, other printed materials, and manuscripts.  These materials include more than 1.6 million books, 15,000 cubic feet of manuscript, and 500,000 historic maps; several collections rank among the best in the world.  The Newberry serves more than 100,000 in-person users each year, in its reading rooms and with its public programs and scholarly events.  Residential research fellowships support some 55 scholars each year.  Areas of the collection’s special strengths include maps, travel, and exploration; North and South American Indians; the history of the book; the Renaissance and early modern world; American history and culture; Chicago and the Midwest; genealogy and local history; music and the performing arts; and the history of religion.  Educational activities serving the intellectually curious public involve exhibitions, adult seminars, professional development programs for high school teachers, panel discussions, concerts, book talks, two semester-long undergraduate seminars, and other activities and events.
Email cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to the Director of Human Resources at
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